Chiropractic manipulation can address several causes of neck pain. It is not a treatment for every type of neck problem, but on the other hand, is also considered a first line of treatment for many.
Two typical causes of pain that originate in the neck and may be treated by manipulation include mechanical neck pain and disc problems.
Mechanical Neck Pain
Mechanical neck pain includes pain generated from muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments, and/or the fascia. This type of problem is a common cause of neck pain and stiffness. Most of the time, many of these tissues are simultaneously injured and can cause pain both locally as well as at a distance away from the injury site.
Facet joint problems are a good example of mechanical neck pain. The facets are located in the back of the neck, about 1 inch from each side of the midline. When a facet joint is sprained or injured, pain may be localized and/or referred to as pain a distance away from the neck injury, such as into the shoulder blade, upper back, and even into the arm. The referred pain pattern is unique and depends on the specific spinal level of the cervical spine that is involved.
Cervical Disc Problems
Tears can develop in the cervical disc and the inside of the disc (the nucleus) can herniate through the outer part (the annulus) and trap or pinch the nerve root as it exits the spine.
Cervical nerve root irritation can frequently refer to pain down the arm and into the hand, usually affecting specific regions such as the 4th and 5th digits, the palm side thumb to 3rd fingers, and/or the back of the hand on the thumb, index finger side of the hand, depending on which nerve root is irritated.
On rare occasions, if the disc's nucleus herniates straight backward, it can compress the spinal cord, create symptoms in the legs, and even affect the function of the bowels and/or bladder. On these rare occasions, the patient needs to be referred to a spine surgeon for immediate medical attention.
The above are two broad examples of cervical spine problems that may be treated with cervical spinal manipulation. The patient needs to receive a complete exam before cervical manipulation.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens, and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888 or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialists, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko or Dr. Sonny Ahluwalia.